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Goatwhore - Carving Out the Eyes of God - 85%

ThrashManiacAYD, September 3rd, 2009

If, after thousands of other bands have attempted with varying levels of success, you still want a band to make merry with the radiation guitar sound of primeval "Morbid Tales"-era Celtic Frost, Goatwhore are here to make your day. Usually the preserve of Scandinavian and German bands, the Frost legacy has already been well plundered, from the very earliest days of the Norwegian BM scene to today, but boy do these Americans add an extra stick of dynamite to the mix, with the following devastating blast sounding as indefinable as Celtic Frost did back in the mid-80s.

In an age where everyone it seems loves arguing over which exact pigeonhole must reside in, "Carving Out The Eyes Of God" will cause a few people some major headaches with it's toxic mix of thrash, death, black and even the odd moment of grind. More than just that, its the ease with which Goatwhore vary their speeds, sounds and tones to create an album of the melee, as we all know how badly many others can get that part wrong. Starting with "Apocalyptic Havoc", subtlety is not required as Goatwhore show, without even being a thrash band per se, just how thrashing can be done in the 21st century without sounding entirely derivative of the 80's masters. Where the title track begins and continues through its four-and-a-bit minutes, one realises as a listener that you are now being subjected to slower grind riffs neatly separated by scintillating black metal savagery, having been listening to some thrash not 10 minutes ago. And you wonder how this has been without it being screamed in your face in the manner iwrestledabearonce seem to think a song is put together. Well boys and girls, it is honesty and passion in what is being written that allow this bunch of Southern dirtbags to pen such heavy and infectious metal tomes.

The "Pleasure To Kill"-like "This Passing Into The Power Of Demons" only then leads into the even more savage thrash attack of "Razor Flesh Devoured", a title that somehow just suits what one is subjected to in it's 258 seconds, before closer "To Mourn And Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways" lets some in air proving that Goatwhore don't have to be in top gear to be heavy. As I was always advised when doing a presentation at school, finishing on a high note is key. "To Mourn..." is by far the slowest track on display, and while far from a bad song, does do a slight disservice to the juggernaut speed of the rest of the album by concluding more sedately than I might have otherwise liked. There’s just no pleasing some people is there…

Describing everything that is excellent about "Carving Out The Eyes Of God" is difficult, but some aspects are clear. At brief moments Goatwhore bear a passing resemblance to the current crop of deathcore bands clogging the airwaves but show in just 40 minutes of music how to be downright heavier, more honest and writers of a greater variation of riffs than that entire scene has proven to me it is capable of doing. For once this is an album that might actually have the potential of entertaining more than just the extreme metalheads and could become a starting point for those interested in the scary worlds of black, death and thrash metal. And for that, Goatwhore should be ritually commended.

Originally written for Rockfreaks.net